An International Conference
Mr. John R. Dos Passos, an able New York lawyer, would have Congress
call an international conference for the suppression of anarchism.
But what new good will that do? Such a conference was held in Rome
only three years ago, after the murder of the Empress Elizabeth.
Since it met and discussed for a month, and called the chiefs of
police of a dozen countries, and made provision for a bureau of
information, and the mutual surrender of anarchists, a Spanish Prime
Minister, an Italian King and an American President have been killed
by anarchists. We do not know that another conference could do any
more than did the last one. What is needed is not more palaver,
but a careful surveillance of anarchistic clubs and individuals,
so that any overt acts or any conspiracies may be discovered as
soon as possible and punished before they result in murder. But
no watchfulness can prevent the acts of single zealots like our
last assassin; nor will the restriction of immigration succeed any
better. Our three assassins of Presidents have all been natives
of the country. We cannot reverse our time-honored and beneficial
encouragement of immigration out of fear of anarchists. The air
of freedom is its best panacea.